Can UPC judgments please use - prior art - paragraph numbering?

03-05-2024 Print this page
Dick van Engelen

Can UPC judgments please use - prior art - paragraph numbering? Simply copying what the EU Court of Justice does, will do!

At IP-Portal we are full of praise of what the UPC has been able to accomplish. It is an impressive piece of work. Generally speaking we do not want to hear anything bad about the UPC - at least not for now - and simply want to enjoy having front row seats at the spectacle of “EU patent law history in the making”.

But, having said that …... ;-)
Now that we are seeing more and more substantive judgements coming out of the UPC one point of constructive criticism seems justified. It is nice to see meticulously drafted lengthy judgements with all kinds of references to UPC precedent judgements. However, given that most of these judgments do not use simple paragraph numbering, the reader has to navigate his or her way using obscure references to pages of the original A4 judgment (and get lost in the process).

To make a potentially long complaint short: please do what the EU Court of Justice has been doing for decades and simply use old fashioned paragraph numbering. That way a simple reference to parapraph 52 or point 212 is possible and will make life easy for everybody. It seems something that any person skilled in the art of writing judgements can master. And let’s be honest: if the EU Court of Justice can do it, it must be a piece of cake for the average patent judge.

One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but the recent judgement of the UPC Court of Appeal of 3 April 2024 in Juul Labs v NJOY Netherlands seems evidence of the fact that even the UPC’s infamous CMS can apparently handle judgments with paragraph numbering. Simply following that precedent will make sure that we can all concentrate on the really important and interesting topics in European patent law that are hidden in the future.

Dick van Engelen, IP-Portal editor